Latino Food Guide Pyramid

There hasn’t been a lot of food news lately other than the same issues regarding cloned foods, tainted foods, and the ban on trans fats. But here is something I read recently that caught my eye: a new Food Guide Pyramid featuring traditional cooking and latino foods.

Some of you who have been reading my blogs for awhile probably already know this but for those who don’t, I am a minority in a mostly Hispanic community. Being the cooking enthusiast that I am, I have since learned how to make pernil, sofrito sauce, adobo seasoning from scratch, arroz con gandules, and even pasteles. I do most of my shopping at the local market which means that my spice rack is filled with Spanish labels and I’ve made ox tail soup more than my husband would like.

The Latino Food Guide Pyramid is available at our local grocery (in Spanish of course) and when I first saw it, I thought, “Duh–why didn’t I think of that?” Studies show that among the Latino population, rates of obesity related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes increase with immigration. I read one study that said that when someone immigrates from Latin America to the United States, their risk of heart disease and diabetes almost triples! I couldn’t confirm the statistic with a second source, but I think I can safely say that the typical American diet isn’t all that healthy.

So the Department of Health put together a food pyramid favoring Latin cuisine. Advocates praise it because it not only educates people on how to eat healthier, but it also encourages people to retain their traditional ways.

I can only hope that as the Latino community is encouraged to cook healthier and more traditionally, that local bodegas* and similar shops will support the efforts. Not only will this make a healthier community. . .but I’m sure I’ll be the recipient of some of my neighbor’s cooking! In the words of Rachel Ray. . .YUM-O!

*A ‘bodega’ is the corner grocery store. They are very small, and usually family run businesses.